I quickly realized that not all D-rank missions are as intellectually stimulating as my long-term reconnaissance mission to Hogwarts. In fact, most of them were the sorts of things students had to do when they were being punished in detention. The only plus side was that unlike with detention, I was allowed to use magic.

The first time the three of us took a look at the filthy bathroom we were supposed to clean, the boys were extremely vocal about their objections. Even Sasuke complained with more than his usual glare. But their objections ceased instantly when I pulled out my wand and with a well-placed "Scourgify!" left the whole room gleaming and immaculate. I smiled at them as Naruto's jaw dropped and Sasuke stared at me with wide-eyed surprise.

"What? What?" Naruto shouted, running inside and examining the toilets as though he'd never seen one before. Well, maybe he'd never seen a clean one before. He did live alone, after all. And he was a boy. "How did you do that?"

They both turned to me. Kakashi's eye was crinkled in a smile again, and I shifted in embarrassment. So, maybe this wasn't the way I wanted to showcase my special ability to my two teammates, but I hadn't gotten the chance the previous day.

"It's a kind of blood-limit," I said. It wasn't really, but I doubted Naruto would be able to understand the complicated explanations from my school books. "I have a certain type of power that I control with my wand."

I gestured with my wand, and it dutifully shot out a few sparks for effect.

Sasuke's eyes locked onto the seemingly innocuous bit of wood and he frowned.

"You've got a blood-limit for cleaning things?" Naruto asked incredulously. "Hey, hey, do you think you could come over to my place and clean my room?"

Sasuke snorted.

"Useless," he said. I wasn't sure if he was talking about Naruto or my magic. I glared at him either way.

"It's not a cleaning blood-limit," I growled. "It's a sort of power that can bend reality and reshape it how I want. I use magic, which is like chakra. The words are like the words we use to activate jutsu, and the wand movements are like the hand seals used for ninjutsu and genjutsu. Each spell is like a different jutsu. Scourgify is a cleaning spell. But there are also hexes and curses and charms and transfiguration spells..."

I trailed off because Naruto was looking lost. How many times had I seen that exact expression on Ron's face while I tried to explain our homework? Too many times to recall. I almost smiled.

"What an interesting ability," said Kakashi, feigning curiosity. I had no doubts that the Hokage had informed him of my abilities well in advance, but I decided to let it slide. "Maybe when we're training later, you can show us a bit more."

"Sure," I said. "So, what is our next mission?"


Naruto pestered me for the rest of the day about my magical abilities. It felt nice to show off to someone who knew less about the magical world than I did. Well, there was always Harry, but he tended to know about as much as I did and even a bit more in some cases.

So I told my team about witches and wizards and their society. Sasuke even asked a few questions about the witch burnings that had caused them to become so paranoid and secretive.

"So, they were afraid of these muggles?" he asked. "I don't see why the Hokage thinks these wizards might be dangerous if they're terrified of civilians."

"They knew that if they stayed in the open, both sides would have been destroyed," I snapped. "Wizards might be more powerful, but there aren't very many of them compared to the muggles. And you shouldn't act like its such a bad thing to avoid conflict. The whole society decided together that isolating themselves would be better for the whole world, even if they could have hurt the people who were trying to kill them. There were a lot of atrocities on both sides before the wizards decided to leave. But they did leave, even though it meant accepting their losses and hiding away. I think it was very noble of them."

Sasuke merely scowled.

"Running away crying isn't noble," he said.

"So what about that Dark Lord person you were talking about?" Naruto interrupted eagerly. "Voldywhatsit. Sounds dangerous."

I laughed in spite of myself. It was difficult to fear something when the blond-haired blue eyed goofball was talking about it with such a cheerful expression. And Sasuke was marching on ahead, so I guessed that conversation was over with anyway. I gave a pretty brief summary of my two near-encounters with the dark wizard. True, I hadn't actually met him face-to-face, a fact I was distinctly grateful for, but I was involved enough to give all the best details.

My stories and explanations carried us through four D-ranked missions, three of which were cleaning, and the fourth was repairing a broken sign. A quick "Repairo" was all that took. And then we were done for the day. It felt weird to complete so many missions in so little time. It actually took longer to walk between the missions than it took to actually do them. I was so used to thinking of missions as being long and involved matters of the utmost secrecy that it was hard to even think of these as being in the same league. And they weren't, I decided as I walked back home in early dusk.

I'd long since waved goodbye to my teammates and sensei. It was a good thing the Ministry didn't have any sort of magic-awareness spells around Konoha that would prevent me from using magic over the summer. Still, I didn't come here to do magic and clean toilets. I didn't plan on doing D-ranked missions like this for my whole life. I needed to learn how to fight so that I could protect Harry and Ron when they inevitably found themselves in trouble again. I needed to be a better Konoha ninja, and using cleaning spells wouldn't help me with that.

Thankfully, Kakashi had told us that we would be doing some teamwork training tomorrow, and they were all eager to see what my magic could do. I spent the night pouring over my notes and practicing basic offensive and defensive spells. I was starting to feel annoyed with my ex-Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers for not at least preparing me well for what was sure to be a challenging day tomorrow.

I knew I wouldn't last five second against Kakashi. Sasuke was almost as bad because of his ninjutsu and total willingness to use lethal force. Even Naruto would be nearly impossible if he was able to use Shadow Clone. There was no way I'd be able to fire off spells quickly enough to take them all down if I didn't manage to get to him first. So, I'd have to focus on keeping them far enough away to dodge their attacks, but still keep them close enough to hex them if they attacked.

I chewed my lip as I practiced a silencing charm before I realized I was being stupid. There was no reason to use a wide variety of spells if one did the job just as well. In Sasuke's and Kakashi's case, all I had to do was hit them with petrificus totalus, and the fight would be over.

Naruto would be different. I needed and area-affect spell to deal with all of his clones, something that had a much broader range. There was always a blasting curse, which could blow apart whole city streets if the user was strong enough, but that had a very serious chance of killing him if he decided to run around with his clones, which I knew he would. Besides, I still wasn't strong enough to get a blast radius of more than five feet.

Another option was the disarming curse, which had a slightly broader range than most spells and which could knock some of his clones back. It might be powerful enough to dispel the clones, but I wouldn't know for sure until I tested it. If it did just disarm them, that wouldn't mean much. When Naruto lost a kunai, he'd just grab another one. The disarming charm might have been a great weapon against wizards, but it was pointless against a shinobi.

I was still turning the situation over in my mind the next morning when I met my team on a small red bridge. Naruto waved enthusiastically, and Sasuke gave me a curt nod. We waited for our tardy sensei in silence as I reread the notes I'd already memorized. Even if I knew he wasn't going to show up any time soon, there was no reason that I had to be late as well. Just because he was unreasonable when it came to punctuality didn't mean I intended to pick up the habit. I thought briefly about what Harry and Ron would say if I came back to school and showed up late for everything. They'd probably think it was funny.

"Hey, hey, what are you smiling about, Sakura-chan?"Naruto asked.

"Oh, I was just thinking about my friends at school," I said. "You two kind of remind me of them."

"Really?" Naruto asked eagerly. "I'm the brave hero, right? Right, Sakura-chan?"

"Not exactly," I said, grinning back at him as I sat down and let my feet dangle over the edge. "You're more of the funny, bumbling side-kick type."

Naruto pouted and glared at Sasuke, who was ignoring us with practiced ease.

"Hey, will you show us some more of your spell things?" Naruto asked, plopping down beside me. At this, Sasuke looked up, though he was clearly trying not to seem too intrigued.

I smiled.

It was kind of nice to have an audience that could appreciate my abilities, even if I knew I'd be in all kinds of trouble if anyone at school ever found out I'd told a muggle. Not that I really considered Sasuke and Naruto to be muggles. Chakra was different from magic, but ninja were still a long way from the people who had tried to kill off all of the witches and wizards so many centuries ago. And even if the Ministry had a problem with me telling the Hokage and my team about my powers, well, my first loyalty was to Konoha anyway.

"I suppose I could show you something before we start training if you really want me to," I said. Encouraged by Naruto's eager nod and gleaming smile, I continued. "How about I show you how to make objects fly?"

Naruto's eyebrows disappeared behind his forehead protector, and Sasuke turned to look at us both fully. I pulled out my wand and pointed it at a stack of logs laying against a nearby building.

"Wingardium Leviosa!" I said, and all six logs rose in unison ten feet into the air.

"Wow, Sakura-chan, that's amazing!" Naruto shouted. "Hey, do you think you could make me fly too?"

He looked so hopeful that I didn't have the heart to tell him no.

"I can cast the spell on you," I said, lowering my wand and allowing the six logs to drift back to the ground. "But I'm the one who controls it, so you wouldn't be able to choose where to go. Do you want to try?"

He did, so I spent the next twenty minutes sitting cross-legged on the bridge and waving my arm in long swishes and loops as Naruto screamed in glee and shouted directions about where he wanted to fly next. Maybe one scream was in fear as I swept him through the branches of a tree, but he didn't hit anything, so he merely shouting "Yahoo! Yeah! Over that tree! Woah!"

We also attracted attention from several people, some civilians, a chunin ninja, and one ANBU, who crouched silently for a moment before leaving soundlessly. While my abilities weren't exactly secret, they weren't well known either, and I wondered briefly what he would tell the Hokage. By the time I let Naruto down, his whole face seemed dedicated to his wide grin.

"Hey, why did you stop?" he asked, bouncing around on the balls of his feet. "That was awesome!"

"My arm is getting tired," I admitted. "Besides, we should be resting up since we'll be training today whenever Kakashi-sensei decides to show up."

Sasuke snorted, and went back to glaring at random objects.

We all sat and relaxed together with Naruto occasionally commenting loudly about some unimportant thing or trying to catch a fish in the stream. I tried to involve Sasuke in conversation once, but his monosyllabic responses made chatting with him almost as bad as talking to a rock. I wondered how long it would take someone to notice if I put a silencing charm on him.

Not that that's something I would ever do. But the Weasley twins would. Then I'd have to scold them and threaten them with Mrs. Weasley.

It took three hours, but eventually our sensei decided to show up.

"Yo" he said, appearing in a poof of smoke. "Sorry I'm late. I got lost on the road of life."

"Liar!" Naruto and I shouted together. Really, a teacher should be more responsible. And punctual.

"Now let's head over to training ground 3," he said, gesturing for us to follow as he walked away.

"Hey, sensei, are you going to show us some cool new moves?" Naruto asked. "Huh? Huh?"

"No, today will be dedicated to team training," said Kakashi. "You three will be fighting against each other."

Naruto turned to shoot a devious grin at Sasuke. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.

Training ground 3 turned out to be a large open field with a smooth, gentle slope and no cover to speak of. This was good for me, as it meant my teammates wouldn't have anything to hide behind, but it left me out in the open as well.

"Alright, so today you'll be playing a game I like to call Tag-team," said Kakashi. "When I shout out a name, that person becomes the enemy of the other two. So if I shout 'Sasuke' then Naruto and Sakura attack him together, and Sasuke attacks both of them. The purpose of this training is to learn to work together against single enemies and alone against multiple enemies. Also, there may be times when you need to reevaluate who your allies are in a fight. Now, you have thirty seconds to get wherever you want to be on the field. When I shout out the first name, that's when you begin. Now, go!"

I pulled out my wand and darted away, trying to put some space between myself and the other two as but keeping them both in sight and range. That wasn't difficult considering that we all had a clear field of view for several hundred yards in all directions. Sasuke immediately went to the higher ground at the far end of the field, and Naruto darted off to my left. I wondered if he even realized that he should have been focusing on getting close to us, since he was at a disadvantage in ranged combat.

Probably not.

"Sasuke!" Kakashi shouted.

Sasuke was about thirty five feet away, which was out of my range, but he had already thrown a barrage of shuriken in my direction, and I had no choice but to jump back. I quickly added a deflection spell to the list of things I'd need to learn.

Naruto produced ten clones, which were all charging Sasuke head on with kunai in hand. A full frontal assault on Sasuke was about the stupidest thing he could have tried, but Naruto wasn't known for his wide variety of attack patterns. Besides, if it gave me an opening, that was enough.

While Sasuke was busy dispatching Naruto's clones, I darted forward until I was about eighteen feet away. Sasuke was punching and stabbing his way through the crowd of orange-clad ninja, when his kunai cut one on his cheek, and it didn't disappear. Sasuke's full attention shifted to the real blond.

"Petrificus totalus!" I hissed, trying not to alert him to my spell.

But he must have been paying closer attention than I thought, because he back-flipped over the real Naruto and almost managed to escape, but the spell caught his heel. Sasuke's arms and legs snapped together. He fell with a dull thud into the grass and Naruto was left staring at him uncomprehendingly.

"Huh?" he said. "What the..."

"Naruto!" Kakashi shouted.

It was just my luck that Sasuke had managed to dispel all but two of Naruto's clones and that the real one had been revealed.

"Petrificus totalus!" I shouted, this time not worrying about revealing myself. Naruto was instantly caught in the same body-bind as Sasuke. At that point, the fight was over. The two remaining clones tried to charge me, but because there were only two I managed to catch both of them before they came too close.

"Well now, that is a useful jutsu," said Kakashi as he ambled over to the other two. "Maybe you should revive them so we can continue?"

"Oh, right," I said. I walked over to the pair and said "Reenervate!"

They were close enough together that the same spell caught them both. Naruto was looking at me with shock and a little awe. Sasuke's face was carefully neutral.

"Well, well, now that the two of you have a better idea of your teammate's abilities, maybe we should try this again?" he asked.

Sasuke and Naruto nodded together, and when they glanced at each other and shared a small smile, I knew I was in trouble.

From that point forward, I was effectively useless. Sasuke was able to calculate my spell range after being hit a second time, and he never let me get close enough again. Naruto on the other hand, merely poofed thirty or forty clones into existence, and I had no hope of catching them all. I discovered that a suitably powerful disarming curse was enough to dispel them, and a small blasting curse could do the same without hurting the real Naruto seriously, but even then, Naruto closed in long before I could find and neutralize him.

It was actually kind of pathetic how weak I was at close range. Naruto would never hit me seriously, and I was a little grateful for that, but it also stung to know he wouldn't go all-out with me the way he did with Sasuke. Once I'd lost the element of surprise, I was too weak to be considered a threat.

We sparred like this for an hour before breaking for lunch with instructions to work on individual stamina training during the afternoon. Kakashi disappeared when Naruto told him he should buy us food, and somehow that didn't surprise me.

By now I was covered in dirt and loose grass with my hair in disarray and dozens of cuts, scrapes, and bruises from where Naruto had knocked me down or Sasuke's shuriken had nicked me. I was still breathing hard when Naruto ran over to me.

"Hey, Sakura-chan!" Naruto shouted. "Let's eat lunch together! Just you and me."

Sasuke had already disappeared, and I didn't think I could handle the hyperactive blond by myself right now.

"No thanks, Naruto," I said wearily. "Kakashi-sensei assigned me two hours of running. I need to rest up a bit for this afternoon."

"Only two hours?" Naruto asked. "Man, Kakashi-sensei let you off easy. I've got four hours of rock climbing to do."

Easy? Two hours of intense physical exercise would be brutal for me. I was used to spending long hours pouring over books, not running or lifting weights. Usually it was Ron who was complaining about the heavy workload from the teachers and me telling him that it wasn't really that difficult. Oh, how the tables had turned.

"Anyway, I'll see you tomorrow for our next mission," I said, waving goodbye with a half-hearted smile.

I needed to do some serious planning. My magic might be great for catching enemies unaware, but if I ever had to face the same opponent twice, or if they somehow knew of my abilities beforehand, then I was easy prey for just about anyone with good speed or ranged attacks.

I trudged home feeling much heavier than I had that morning, but I straightened my shoulders anyway. If I didn't need help, then I wouldn't have needed a sensei. I'd just have to ask Kakashi what he thought. I was sure the white haired Jonin would know what I needed to do. And even if he didn't...well that was what books were for.